Spring is blooming across the Lower East Side. Within the enthralling buzz of urban life, fragrant gardens and green spaces are exploding with color and aroma. They offer the perfect city retreat — whether it’s a few minutes of calm or an entire afternoon of deep tranquility is up to you. Once you’re refreshed, Manhattan is ready to welcome you back. Here are four spaces we recommend for your mini escape, right on One Manhattan Square’s doorstep. And one of them is even closer.
M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden |165 Forsyth Street
Spanning almost an entire block, M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden is a welcome sweep of gardens, vegetable patches, and ponds. The word “community” is not used lightly. Around 50 local gardeners tend to the beds here, and the garden’s calendar is awash with events you can participate in: movie nights, poetry readings, gardening workshops, pet adoption days … the list goes on. Plants aren’t the only inhabitants of M’Finda Kalunga; look around a bit and you’ll discover koi in a pond and a family of turtles! Bet you didn’t expect to see that in the heart of the Lower East Side.
Columbus Park | Mulberry Street & Baxter Street
Named for the great explorer, Columbus Park can be something of an adventure in itself. Arrive early in the morning to hear traditional Chinese music wafting through the air as locals engage in their daily tai chi routine. Feel free to join them. Or perhaps you’ll want to make use of one of the park’s basketball courts for a game with friends before cooling off in the spray showers and refreshing yourself with a well-earned dim sum meal at one of the nearby eateries. In the upcoming summer months, bring along a deck chair from your condo, sit back as the sun sets over Manhattan, and indulge in one of the Movies Under the Stars screenings. Beats the megaplex any day.
Elizabeth Street Garden | Elizabeth Street (Between Prince Street and Spring Street)
For almost 200 years, Elizabeth Street Garden has offered locals a leafy haven in which to mill and chill around the trees and flower beds. Lazy weekend afternoons were made for wandering around the garden’s various stone statues and balustrades; for unpacking a picnic in the shade of one of its substantial trees; or merely for lying back and listening to the hum of the honey bees as they dart from flower to flower. Bliss.
Your Very Own Private Garden | One Manhattan Square
On those occasions when leaving your One Manhattan Square condo feels like too much of a chore, you can simply repair to your own idyllic green space. Everyone who has a condo in this Extell Development masterpiece has the key to an outdoor wonderland. Play ping-pong or get in a little practice on the putting green; enjoy a good book in the tea pavilion or on the relaxation lawns. Cook up a delicious barbecue lunch in the outdoor kitchen, then, as the sun dips, sip a glass of merlot by the flames of a fire pit. Finally, as the stars come out, man the stargazing observatory, and impress your visitors with your knowledge of the constellations. After all, now that you have access to your own observatory, you can get as much study time as you need.